Communication Skills

15+ Tricks That Will Help You Catch People Lying

Body language

Catching liars by observing their body language


1. A liar will smile, but it will only involve their mouth. Their eyes aren't smiling (no gleam/no twinkle)


2. On the same note, a liar will tend to avoid eye contact.


3. A liar's physical expression is stiff and limited, and any limb movement will tend to be near their own body - in their discomfort, they want to take up as less space as possible.


4. Liars (and unsure people in general) touch their throat, ear, nose, mouth, and also the face more than others.


Catching liars by the different between their words and their non-verbal gestures


5. Look for the delay between verbal expressions and facial expressions: For example, when someone receives an order they didn't really want, they will say 'I look forward to it!' but there will be a pause before they smile.

6. Their verbal statements and gesture/expressions don't match: For example, when someone says 'I love you' while looking at something else.


Catching liars by their reactions & behavior


7. When challenged, a guilty person will become defensive.


8. Liars often find it difficult to face their accuser, so they may turn away.


9. Liars may unconsciously place objects between themselves and you (e.g. tea cup, book, etc.).


10. Liars will use the same words as you to answer your question: For example, if asked, 'Did you steal my pen?' they will respond with, 'No, I did not steal your pen.' They are trying to be extra-specific.


11. Liars use statements which contain contractions to deny something: For example, they will probably say, 'I didn't do it' instead of 'I did not do it'.


12. A liar may imply things rather than make direct statements.


13. Liars may over-explain themselves, giving too many reasons and adding too many unnecessary details to try to convince you


14. Liars may leave out pronouns and speak in a more monotonous tone of voice


15. Liars under stress will talk in sentences that may be confused, garbled and spoken quietly, with poor grammar and syntax.


Other Signs of Lying:


1. A liar will follow along gladly and become more relaxed, when you change the topic of a discussion abruptly. A guilty person will want the subject to be changed.


2. A liar will also try to avoid the subject using humor or sarcasm.

(Source: Marcus Edward John Cross)


Detecting a lie in written material (email etc)


- Writer does not use 'I' or other personal pronouns much.


- Writer says qualifier statements - 'to be honest' and 'as far as I remember'.


- Writer uses noncommittal expressions - probably, pretty sure, must have.


- Writer looks too much into little things that matter (not enough on things that matter).


- Writer is telling a 'true story' but then he changes tenses.


- Writer abruptly changes the topic.


- The writer doesn't usually write in this manner.


Tip: Introduce a made up fact to catch a liar

The liar will hesitate in his answer and likely answer wrongly.


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